The UK Chamber of Shipping has been working closely with the cruise industry over the last six months to develop a Framework for cruise ship operators to implement new measures with enhanced public health protection. In collaboration with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the Framework is the culmination of months of collaborative work between cruise operators, industry partners and health experts.
Though there is no restart date for the cruise industry currently, the UK Chamber of Shipping, CLIA and operators will continue to work with the government on future plans. The health and wellbeing of passengers and crew remain top priority for the industry, which already implements some of the most stringent safety and hygiene standards. To see our cruise line partners updated on board safety measures, please continue reading.
American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines are committed to resuming travel only when it is safe for their guests, crew and community partners. To ensure optimum safety on board, the cruise line has partnered with Vikand Solutions, a leading global expert in maritime medical operations and healthcare. Onboard their fleet, they will have medical professionals to ensure safety, provide care and administer COVID-19 tests.
Their effort leverages the advantages of their modern small ships and domestic routes to mitigate risk. Their goal is to make everyone on board and ashore as comfortable as possible, in order to achieve this they are working with communities, vendors, municipalities, state governments and federal agencies. The following will help them to responsibly resume sailing:
- Reduced guest capacity with each cruise sailing with a maximum of 75% of the allotted guest capacity
- Increased downtime between cruises to allow for full ship sanitation
- Extensive pre-cruise screening measures and denial of boarding to anyone with flu-like symptoms
- Hourly sanitation rounds including cleansing of all touchpoints such as railings, doorknobs, elevator buttons and gangways
- PPE (face shields, gloves and face masks) available for all guests and crew
- Closure of public bathrooms
- Hand sanitising stations available throughout the ship
- Luggage sanitation prior to loading - deckhands will wear full PPE
- Closure of buffets
APT Cruising always has the safety and wellbeing of guests at the forefront of their minds. They have responded to the everchanging COVID-19 climate by implementing a number of new measures to elevate their health and hygiene protocols giving travellers assurance that they can travel with the APT Travel Group with confidence.
APT has adopted the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recommendations and have actioned their increased health screenings and protocols for all cruises, both on board and prior to boarding for all passengers and crew, working with local authorities as well as their own staff to ensure rules are being adhered to.
Aurora Expeditions has carefully considered the potential impacts and risks to their passengers, staff and crew associated with COVID-19 and have proactively implemented in depth policies and practices to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone. These measures have been put in place following consultation with the World Health Organisation, IAATO, AECO, Cruise Lines International Association, their marine healthcare partner, Vikand, and their crew management partner, CMI Leisure. The following will be regularly revised in line with the latest medical advice, advancements and guidelines:
- All passengers must obtain a fit to travel certification
- Thermal infra-red scanners will be used to check temperatures of passengers and crew
- Passengers must complete a pre-departure questionnaire
- Point of Care diagnostic equipment has been installed on board
Azamara takes guests and crews health and wellbeing very seriously. Because of this, the cruise line has enforced many protocols and procedures which have been elevated and introduced to ensure everyone onboard is healthy. To develop their future boarding screening process and updated health protocols, Azamara is collaborating with government health authorities, the Cruise Lines International Association and our own team of medical experts. The following will help them to responsibly resume sailing:
- Implementation of travel restrictions preventing guests and crew coming from or transiting through areas of high risk of infection/exposure from boarding a vessel
- Performing enhanced screening at the embarkation port
- Providing hand sanitising gel at boarding and throughout the voyage in all public areas and encourage guests to sanitise often
- Access to a 24-hour medical facility onboard with a doctor and nurses ready to provide medical care
- Working alongside tour operators to sanitise transportation vehicles and provide Purell wipes for all guests
Celebrity Cruises is concentrating all efforts on developing a cohesive return to service plan which will include enhanced health and safety protocols for all travellers. The cruise line is collaborating with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other government and health officials to assemble new processes and standards for boarding as well as the cruise experience itself. Celebrity Cruises are yet to announce these processes and protocols as they are in the final stages of development. The plan will be shared once it has been finalised.
Cunard is working directly with the highest level of authority to ensure they adopt best practices in the management of COVID-19. The health and wellbeing of their guests, crew, partners and the communities they serve is of utmost importance. For many years the cruise line has had health and safety protocols in place, such as hand sanitising stations, rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Before embarkation, they ask guests to complete a health declaration form and have a comprehensive medical facility onboard each ship which provides 24/7 medical care.
Cunard is currently reviewing every aspect of their cruises, ready for when they resume sailing. This includes looking at enhanced cleaning protocols, as well as measures such as screening guests before they board; implementing social distancing at levels correct for the time they return and working out how this will impact crew, guests, suppliers and those at ports.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Given the very changeable situation and ever-evolving science, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are yet to share their thoughts on what they think the future of cruising will look like. The cruise line wants to ensure they get it absolutely right without removing the elements of the cruise experience everyone knows and loves. They are working hard to ensure the best protocols are put in place before they set sail. Some of these precautions will include:
- The highest cleanliness standards on board with a dedicated sanitation team working continuously to ensure optimum safety
- Specialist medical facilities
- Additional port options allowing for itinerary changes if government advice alters
- Pre-approved tour partners and smaller groups at shore excursions
With over 127 years of experience, Hurtigruten has established strict procedures to protect you from infection. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the cruise line has taken various actions to keep guests safe during their time onboard. As their normal service resume, they will be reducing the overall number of guests on their ships, adding more seating sessions to restaurants so fewer guests dine at the same time, instead of self-service buffets, chefs will serve food directly and the kitchen will continue to uphold its usual high standards of hygiene and quality.
- Alongside this, every crew member will undergo a health check and have completed WHO’s official COVID-19 course for hygiene procedures and infection management. Further procedures include:
- Sailing with no more than 50% capacity to ensure social distancing rules can be adhered to
- Encouragement of frequent hand washing including at embarkation and disembarkation, outside all restaurants and on entering public areas
- Introducing a cashless environment where all guests will be asked to open a cruise account to limit the use of cash and frequent contact with payment terminals
- Fully disinfecting each cabin at changeover
- Carry out regular checks of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) ventilator filters and the quality of drinking water
- Reducing capacity of shore excursions
- Health checks for every crew member
Oceania Cruises are keeping guests and crew healthy using the most advanced technologies and practices. Working alongside the CDC and some of the world’s most experienced medical experts, they are developing industry-leading protocols to enhance onboard health and safety.
The cruise line are also partnering with their local destinations and tour operators to ensure their health and sanitation protocols extend to the shoreside experience. Protocols include:
- Extensive pre-embarkation health screening
- Changing itineraries
- Socially responsible check-in
- Sanitised and certified virus-free ships
- Continuous ship-wide disinfection and daily fogging
- All new hospital-grade air filtration system
- No-touch food service
- Increased social distancing
- Enhanced medical teams and health services
- Dedicated public health officer
While P&O Cruises are still working on the exact measures as the advice evolves, they will continue to have in place pre-booking and boarding health screening, the highest levels of cleanliness throughout their fleet as well as approved standards for the service of food and drink, entertainment and experiences on board and at shore to ensure guests feel confident sailing.
They are working closely with medical experts and global authorities to help determine the best way to move forward while honouring their highest responsibility; the health, safety and wellbeing of guests, crew and communities.
Princess Cruises are actively working with public health officials and medical experts in an effort to do everything possible to prevent illness, including COVID-19, on board their ships. To ensure all guests sail confidently and safely they have taken the following actions:
- Constantly monitoring the global health map in order to cancel or modify itineraries
- Enhancing health requirements
- Stepping up screenings
- Enhancing sanitation procedures in embarkation terminals Introducing a rigorous daily cleaning regimen
- Offering free-flowing hand sanitiser Revising medical protocols
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises is working hand in hand with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal governments globally to develop, implement and continually evolve industry-leading standards that will meet or exceed all requirements for health and safety protocols once those have been finalised by these authorities. These protocols will cover all aspects of onboard and shore-sdie operations to ensure the continuous wellbeing of their guests and crew. They are also putting in place a council of leading experts in health and safety to provide ongoing guidance for improving our health and safety measures.
Whilst the world may have changed, Emerald Waterways, Emerald Yacht Cruises, Scenic Ocean Cruises and Scenic River Cruises commitment to the extraordinary all-inclusive travel experience, their guests and crews health, safety and wellbeing remains top priority. The sister cruise lines are working closely with Cruise Lines International Association, local and international Government Health agencies, to ensure their protocols exceed the latest regulatory requirements. Protocols will continually be updated to safeguard both the health, safety and experience of their valued guests. Current precautions include:
- Pre-departure medical evaluation and test for all guests
- Contact-free check in and check out
- Mandatory briefings and screenings hosted by medical experts
- Enhanced commitment to cleaning
- Socially aware dining
- Contact-free movement across Space-Ships
- Smaller groups and enhanced social proximity
- Carefully selected local partners
Seabourn state their highest responsibility and top priorities are compliance, protecting the environment and the safety, health and wellbeing of their guests, the people in the communities they visit and their crew members.
They are continuing to work in close coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other global health experts, to develop enhanced procedures and protocols to further elevate their already high standards for health and safety on board all ships.
Uniworld River Cruises
Uniworld has taken careful measures so you can travel without worry. Stringent security and sanitation protocols on board remain top priority and are being escalated with the help of Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to adopt their health and safety recommendations and continue to update for added peace of mind. These health and safety recommendations include:
- Guests completing a full health screening prior to embarkation Increased hand sanitisation requirements when entering public spaces, during embarkation and before each meal
- Housekeeping staff disinfecting all public area touchpoints and hot spots throughout the day including handrails and door handles Introducing a contactless payment environment
- Reduction in shore excursion occupancy
- Removal or self-service buffets
- All crew to strictly adhere to social distancing requirements